The spread of COVID-19 has had rippling effects into other areas of society. Of these effects includes Shelter in Place orders, issued by governors across the country. For California, the Shelter in Place order arrived on March 19th. Since Governor Newsom issued the order, a recent study conducted by UC Davis has shown its effect on auto accidents in the state. Our Oakland personal injury lawyers discuss these coronavirus car accident findings below.

Studying the Impact of Coronavirus on Car Accidents in California

The Number of Cars on California Roads

The UC Davis study compared the number of vehicles on California’s major highways before and after the Shelter in Place order took effect. The data compared consisted of the peak number of vehicles on the highway per hour. Their results found that the Shelter in Place order had a significant effect on daily travel within the state. Depending on the highway studied, the volume of vehicles on the roads decreased anywhere from 20%-50% after the order took effect. These highways include:

  • I-5, north of Los Angeles and toward Oceanside
  • S. Route 101
  • S. Route 99
  • State road 152 toward Los Banos
  • I-280 toward Daly City

A Decrease in Auto Accidents in California

One unintended benefit of less motor travel is a sharp decline in auto accidents. The UC Davis study reports that the daily number of auto collisions decreased significantly in the 10 days after the order took place. The data shows that 1,116 collisions took place in the 10 days prior to the order. Of these, 562 collisions involved injury or fatality. Following the order, only 500 auto accidents took place, with only 274 injuries or fatalities recorded. This means that California’s highways saw a 55% decrease in collisions during this time. These finding exclude collisions involving animals, which saw no significant change due to the Shelter in Place order.

More Considerations on the Coronavirus Car Accident Data

The UC Davis study shows a major win for drivers in California. With traffic decreases, the number of car accident injuries and fatalities have also taken a dip. However, Californian drivers should still take extra precautions at this time. The consensus across the country appears to be an uptick in reckless driving behaviors. This is likely due to the ability for drivers to speed more easily given less traffic congestion. Speeding is a leading cause of severe injury and fatalities on the roads, and should give drivers reason to be cautious at this time.

Injured in a Car Accident? Contact an Oakland Car Accident Injury Lawyer for Help With Your Case

The car accident injury lawyers of Heinrich Law, PC handle a wide range of personal injury cases. Whether you sustained injuries as a driver, passenger, bicyclist or pedestrian, our attorneys may be able to help you. To learn more about our services, feel free to contact us at (510) 570-1608 and schedule a free consultation. You can also send us a general inquiry or ask for a case evaluation by completing our quick online form.